First Round Notes and Quotes: Ole Miss
First Round Notes and Quotes: Ole Miss vs. Texas Christian Post-gameMarch 17, 2007
No. 7 Ole Miss
Mississippi advances to face the winner of the Maryland/Harvard game following its 88-74 win over TCU. Should Mississippi face Harvard in the second round, it would be the first meeting between the two schools. Earlier this season, Maryland defeated Mississippi, 110-79, Nov. 25, 2006, at the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas.
Mississippi's 88-74 win over TCU marks its first win in the NCAA Tournament since the Rebels defeated Indiana, 83-61, in the 1994 Midwest Region from Oxford, Miss.
Mississippi improves to 3-0 all-time against TCU and 16-16 overall in NCAA Tournament play.
With the win, Mississippi head coach Carol Ross earned her first NCAA Tournament victory as head coach of the Rebels, improving to 1-2 all-time as Mississippi head coach.
Mississippi senior guard Armintie Price recorded a team-high six assists, upping her career assists total from 398 to 404.
Mississippi's 88 points are the most scored in an NCAA Tournament game in school history. The previous high was 86 points set in the 1983 Mideast Region against Florida State from Oxford, Miss.
Mississippi senior guard Armintie Price finished with 21 points. It was her 12th 20-point game of the season and 38th of her career.
Mississippi's 46 rebounds are the fourth most in an NCAA Tournament game in school history.
Mississippi outscored TCU 39-11 on points of turnovers and 25-6 in second chance points.
Mississippi held TCU leading scorer Adrianne Ross to nine points. Averaging 17.5 points per game, Ross was held under double digit points for only the fifth time this season.
No. 10 Texas Christian
· TCU lost to Mississippi State 88-74 and concludes its season at 21-11.
· Today's game was the second time the Horned Frogs have played an NCAA Tournament game at the Hartford Civic Center. TCU defeated Michigan State in 2003.
· Senior guard Ashley Davis led TCU with 24 points and had a team-high 12 rebounds. It was her second double-double of the season and the second of her career.
· The Horned Frogs have played in 12 NCAA Tournament games (5-7) since 2001.
· TCU trailed 40-32 at halftime. Davis led all scorers with 11 points.
· The Horned Frogs moved to 4-11 when trailing at the half and 24-13 in the month of March under the direction of head coach Jeff Mittie. The Horned Frogs also are 7-37 all-time against teams in the SEC, including an 0-3 mark against Mississippi.
· Junior guard Adrianne Ross entered the game averaging a team-best 17.5 ppg, and was held to nine points. It was the fourth time this season she has been held to less than 10 points. TCU is 1-3 in those contests.
· TCU trailed by as many as 21 (67-46 at 11:41 of the second half) yet closed to within nine (79-68 at 3:49 and 81-72 with 3:21 remaining). The game had seven ties and five lead changes.
No. 7 Ole Miss
Head Coach Carol Ross
"We are happy to get into the NCAA Tournament and learn how to win. Ashley Awkward and Armintie Price have a lot to do with that because they have been to the tournament and they've experienced the elation of being a part of the 'Big Dance', and the disappointment of an early exit. I believe they're leadership and their determination to play on was a big factor in our preparation. What you saw on the court is really who we are. Defensively, we scrap around and we try to make plays. We are not very big but we're quick, so we rebound the ball quickly and we force turnovers. If we do all that very well, we end up on the sideline a lot. We had a very good spurt right before the half, and then we had another good run coming out of the locker room. We were able to put it away, wrap it up, and get to the locker room."
On TCU's Adrianne Ross:
"It didn't take too many tapes to realize what an outstanding player she is. She certainly had our attention and respect. We placed an emphasis on being aware of where she was at all times on both ends of the floor because she is also so effective at stealing the ball and creating offense through her defense. We were aware and respectful of her, and made a great effort to make sure she was covered at all times, and I felt we were effective in doing that."
Is there a sense of relief now that you have won this first game?
"I think this program is good enough. The first time, there couldn't have been a team happier just to be in the tournament than we were, but we didn't really handle the game as well as we could have even though we competed hard and had our chance. Our next opportunity was very similar. We came out and played well, but we couldn't hang on. This time, our three seniors are very important. They have so much power in the locker room and they are such good leaders that I didn't feel concerned that we wouldn't be able to move forward from a mental standpoint. Physically, we can make plays and we can do things that will help us get through a tough game. It is good that we won, but we don't want to go back to a mindset where we think, 'Ok, we won, but this isn't us.' With this team, it is never enough. They want more, they're hungry, they're aggressive, and they want to keep playing."
On the upcoming second-round game:
"Whoever we play, our mentality will be much like it has been throughout the entire year. Whether it be Maryland or Harvard, we've faced a variety of different teams in the Southeast Conference. The Tennessee team, where you have arguably the best player in the country, to Louisiana State with one of the most dominating post players in the country, to Vanderbilt, who you had better guard all over the floor at all times. We will just do what we know to do and hopefully do it better than we've ever done it. We will spend the next day and a half trying to figure out what we need to do to whoever it is that we get to play."
Senior Guard Armintie Price
How have you grown as a player, leading this team from a mid conference team to a national power?
"My four years have been very exciting, been through the highs and lows of through the years of tournaments. I am trying to just have great expectations, trying to go for it and keep our heads up through adversity. Obviously we had some last year but this year the seniors Ashley, Jada, and I are making sure that won't happen again by keeping a winning mindset. In the summer, we started in June and the freshmen in July and we just started from there and kept it rolling."
You looked like you hurt your leg but you shook it off and keep playing, can you comment on that?
"I got a cramp in my leg. I had it since the first half and I was trying to shake it off. I was not trying to show Coach Ross because she would think that I would want to get out. Since I did not know whether this was my last time playing or not, I wanted to play every minute I could, so I just shook it off.
How would your mom feel if she was here with you?
"I feel that she would be very proud of us and this team. She followed the team all the time and she was so proud of the whole team for playing hard, even the ones who don't get to play. I am very grateful and thankful for everything that she taught me, what the team has been through and helping me get through this."
Did she teach you basketball?
"She didn't want me to play basketball. I learned it from picking it up in eight grade, used to play all the team. She taught me that whatever you are going to do be good at it. When it is all said and done that is your family's name on your back so just play hard and the rest will come."
No. 10 Texas Christian
Head Coach Jeff Mittie
"I want to congratulate Ole Miss, I think they played very well today. We could not control the ball well enough in the first half, turnovers gave us a lot of problems we had 12 turnovers and they had 21 points off of them. We knew coming in that the rebounding battle was going to be tough for us and it proved to be that because they were relentless on the glass. Congratulations to Ole Miss, we could not the game in the style that we felt that we needed to win it. We did not control the ball well enough to do that, and ultimately that's why we lost."
You guys looked like in the second half like you had nothing left, at one point they were running the floor pretty well, but at one point you cut the deficit to nine points, can you just explain that?
"Our transition defense was horrible in that stretch and it seemed like we had missed some opportunities that seemed like it deflated us. I kept telling them to hang in there and keep fighting and lets be disciplined because we knew that Ole Miss had given up some leads at times during the season. We felt like if we hung in there and kept doing things better we would have a chance to get back into the game. When you play catch-up against them, the one thing about them is that they are relentless in everything that they do. If you relax on their press you will turn it over. If your relax on the box out they will get to the glass. In transition, (Armintie) Price at one point rebounded and ran the length of the floor and we looked like we were running in quicksand and that doesn't happen very often."
Can you talk about their ability to do to you what you have done to a lot of teams this year?
"Well they are very athletic and very committed to that style of play. They have the right personnel to do it, Carol (Ross) has done a great job with this team, they have beaten some of the best teams in the SEC this year. They are not the biggest team but they are very athletic and they are very physical. Its tough to simulate that in practice for 40 minutes, I thought we had prepared well but our guards turned it over in the first half when we had opportunities and in the second half the same thing. You can't give Ole Miss second and third chances on the offensive glass and then give them transition baskets and points off turnovers. They had what they wanted today."
Can you talk about Ashley (Davis) because she has really struggled the last couple of weeks and for her to finish her career with the game she had today?
"I though coming into the game that she would have a lot of opportunities because of the way Ole Miss plays, they press so much. We felt that if we got through of the first wave of pressure we would have opportunities. She attacked very well in the first half, with her layups and her three-point shots that were critical in the second half. She had a very good career. I am very proud of her development as a player, she is going to leave with a master's degree. She came in as a post player and has been invited to compete in the 3-point contest at the Men's Final Four. She's a first class kid and I am really pleased with her development."
Junior Guard Adrianne Ross
At the end of the first half Mississippi had a really big run, did that affect you in the second half?*
"No, I don't think so because we knew what we weren't doing in the first half. I didn't really think about the score at that time, because I thought that if we could sharpen up the things that got us down, we could decrease the deficit."
*Where did you feel like the game started getting away, particularly with regards to turnovers?*
"I think we did a lot of good things. There was a point when we stopped turning the ball over and we were making good points. We were trading baskets with them; we just couldn't get them stopped. They did really well in transition and Armintie Price is an incredible athlete. I think that's were it got out of hand, when we started trading baskets with them. I was like 'we're doing well, but we're turning around and they're putting it in too."
Senior Guard Ashley Davis
Could you talk about your five years at TCU?
"First of all, I'd just like to say that I had an incredible five years. We made it to the tournament every single year and that was very special. When I started off we went to Hartford and we beat Michigan State, but we lost to UConn in the second round. It feels good to back here. I think that Ole Miss played a great game today and they really hit some big shots. I just want to thank my teammates. I had a great run, here at TCU, and I couldn't ask for anything better."